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Front Page - Friday, August 16, 2019

Health Department's Step ONE teaching garden grants now available

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department’s Step ONE program has opened its community teaching garden grant application period. Those interested are encouraged to apply for grants of up to $1,000.

The teaching garden initiative is meant to demonstrate to children and families the importance of food choices for overall health and provide opportunities for people to learn communication, responsibility, teamwork and leadership skills, the Health Department says in a new release.

Research shows people – including children – are more likely to eat the fruits and vegetables they help grow, according to the release. Additionally, when people come together around gardening, they also grow relationships with each other and the community around them.

“Each garden tells a unique story,” says Step ONE Garden Grant Coordinator Renee Craig. “It’s a story of overcoming obstacles, cultivating relationships and learning core values such as hard work, cooperation and leadership.

“When these values become rooted in the garden, they become rooted in our community.”

Since December 2008, Step ONE has funded 62 teaching gardens around Hamilton County. Neighborhood associations, churches, schools, businesses, daycares and other organizations may apply.

New teaching garden grants are awarded for $1000; previous grantees can apply for $250 a year for up to three years. Step ONE will be accepting applications at www.hcstep1.org through Aug. 31.

Source: Health Department